MASTIC BEACH - A budgeting error may end up being a costly mistake for residents in the Village of Mastic Beach who could be in for a triple-digit tax hike.
Village resident Frank Plugowski says he was appalled and frightened when he heard his proposed property tax increase was an eye-popping 125 percent.
Fireworks broke out last month when Mayor Maura Spery informed village trustees that the $4.7 million spending plan had ballooned. She blamed a $400,000 budget error on a road repair project.
Ralph Marinelli, the owner of the Village Pet & Feed store, says the resulting tax hike may cost him $600 a year.
Mayor Spery declined an on-camera interview with News 12, but says in a statement that the tax increase is necessary.
"The average increase of $250-$300 will maintain our Village as one of the lowest taxed for its size," she says.
However, a majority of village trustees say they were stunned by the hike and kept out of the loop. Spery claims she has kept the trustees fully informed.
By law, the village budget must be in place by May 1.